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Cross Check fork and potential for brake squeal

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:16 am
by Nobody
From my first build in ~March 2010 I have been running a dimension disk CX fork with my CC with good results. About a month ago or less I decided to get some use out of the unused CC fork and Shimano 105 5600 road wheels I had lying around. So I put some generic Shimano V brakes on with Avid WR2 (DINA A) pads to find the amount of lever pressure required from the hoods to be scarey (the reason I went to 185mm disc in the first place). But no squeal either for whatever reason (maybe too little braking power to generate squeal).

So I decided to upgrade the brake to Avid Ultimates to get a better cable run (as they can be changed for left or right hand specific) and used a coaxial brake cable from Lifeline. Well, that transformed the lever pressure to disc levels, but also introduced loud brake squeal with it. Since then I tried various pads to fix the problem (listed below) with toe in, toe out (toe out worked better). I even resorted to filing pads and sanding the rim. I tried oiling the rim too which worked for a bit combined with reduced braking power so I didn't bother again. I actually get little or no squeal from the Promax generic pads, but I got tired of wearing away my rims with bits of metal stuck in the pads. In the end I gave up and went back to disc on the front.

You could argue that the other factor is the Avid V brake, but since they had the same pad mounting distance from the canti posts as the Shimano V brakes, I discounted it as major factor. I moved the brakes across to my utility bike with thicker steel rigid MTB forks and had no problem with squeal. Maybe I'll try again in the future with other brakes, but I need to give my neighbors a break from "squeal testing" for a while. I've also had problems before with rigid steel MTB forks, but nothing at this level of squeal.

List of pads tried:
Avid WR2 (DIN A)
Avid WR2 (EN)
BBB single compound
Clarks triple compound
Lifeline 55mm generic style pads
Lifeline MTB Professional
Kool Stop black
Kool Stop Dual Compound
Promax generic 60mm (kind or worked but gets bits of rim stuck in them, then wears rim).

I generally found the more grip a pad had, the worse the squeal. I have tried some of these pads on the front of my utility bike with a rigid steel MTB fork and Avid SD7 brake to find no squeal so far (except the KS Dual Compound in extreme conditions).

So in summary, if you have thinner steel forks with canti mounts and have brake squeal during heavy braking, I would say don't discount the fork as a contributing factor.